The Pirate’s Wish is a fantastic sequel to The Assassin’s Curse, which delivers on the incredible promise and sweeping story arc. In this swashbuckling adventure, our two heroes encounter even more danger, fight scenes, and romantic tension.
(I want to offer a disclaimer before I even begin, I am going to use swashbuckling as much as I can in this review. I seriously wrote this note as I was reading before writing any more notes. Prepare yourself)
Ananna and Naji are still trying to break the curse that binds them together. They need to accomplish three impossible tasks to break their curse that requires them to be allies, for the time being. But with these tasks, they’ll need help – from both human and beast alike. Stranded on an island in the North, Ananna and Naji must continue to work together, if either of them ever want to be free again. To do this, they’ll have to face the shadowy forces of the Mists, the Pirate Confederation, and their growing attraction.
One of the things that makes reading this duology different than others is Ananna’s narrative style. It is not only unique, but it allows us to feel each sentence as part of her character. Ananna continues to be one of my favorite heroines because she is dynamic and absolutely energetic. I love the bickering relationship between them as it is steeped in romantic attraction.
Additionally, their relationship is complex, both coming from backgrounds which make them convinced of their unworthiness of love. Their relationship is only further heightened and we are allowed to see much more of Naji in this book (especially his scar). I am most pleased by the way his character deepens, because I knew I’d love Ananna from the very beginning.
This book also features one of my favorite side characters – who I cannot tell you too much about, without ruining their presence. So you’ve got to read it for them, but their clever wit and bluntness is amazing – and wonderfully refreshing in a book with two protagonists who are denying facts about themselves. I also love the relationship between Marjani, a female swashbuckling pirate captain, and Ananna. There are tender scenes throughout the book as Marjani serves as a mother, mentor, and sister to Ananna. I really appreciated this relationship, especially as Marjani tells Ananna about her body and her self-respect.
Clarke subverts many expectations in this book, not only in the impossible curse, but also what we expect of their actions. Each of our heroes are running from their own ghosts. In The Pirate’s Wish our secrets come unburied. They unravel in our hands and we need people who will stick with us to help put them back together.
(I edited out most of the swashbuckling references. It was obscene).
What is your favorite fantasy book from your childhood?
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